10 Commandments to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Agent + Your Career

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Photo Source: Spencer Alexander

I’m not a religious man, but I do have a spiritual side. That might explain what happened to me exactly one year ago during Easter weekend. Warning! You might find this story difficult to believe. Hell, I still do. But it’s as real as the 10 percent commission I collect when a client books a job.

I was hiking in the hills near the Hollywood sign; I remember it was overcast, and the skies were shrouded with ominous clouds. My state of mind was positive. Pilot season had ended on a good note, and I was thinking how great it felt to be out in nature, where phones have no reception and actors are nowhere to be seen.

Then, it happened.

The skies parted; lightning sparked; a voice rang out. There was no mistaking who that voice belonged to. He simply said, “Hello!” And then he gave me a list of commandments I was to pass along to every actor I meet. (Look, I won’t lie. It was a little disappointing that he didn’t give me any personal advice, but I guess that’s the way higher beings roll.) 

READ: How Long Your Dry Spell Can Last Before Your Agent Drops You

An hour later, everyone in the parking area was surprised to see a man in a suit—yes, I always wear a suit, even when I’m hiking—come down the hill holding two tablets with holy words written on them. (Actually, they weren’t really tablets. They were just two pieces of siding I pulled off the Hollywood sign so I could have something to write on. When faced with a miracle, you have to make do.)

Anyway, yours truly had a job to do. A calling. The holiest of missions. So here we go. These are the 10 commandments I was asked to give you exactly one year ago during a mystical hike to a tourist attraction:

  1. Thou shalt never, ever pitch an agent on social media.
  2. The weekend is holy and thou shalt not approach an agent during this time of rest.
  3. Ditto for holidays.
  4. Thou shalt not bear false witness against your former agent when meeting a new one.
  5. Honor your agent, that your days be long in the land of acting.
  6. Thou shalt never, ever embarrass your agent by behaving poorly in the church of casting.
  7. Thou shalt study. Always. Training is eternal, like a fart in a sealed room. (I added that last part.)
  8. Thou shalt not succumb to jealousy at other actors’ fame and fortune, but rather have faith that thine own success cometh in due time.
  9. Thou shalt be a force of positive energy in a negative business.
  10. Thou. Shalt. Act!

I agree with all these commandments and I could easily add 10 more, but I’m not about to give the big guy any notes—that would be a bad move, and I’ve made enough of those during my years as an agent.

So, take these commandments and go out and spread the word! In a business where rules are constantly broken, these 10 should serve you well. And if you’re feeling bold, add a few more based on your own experiences. I’m sure you-know-who would be fine with that.

Oh, and Happy Easter!

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Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man is a Los Angeles–based talent agent and our resident tell-all columnist. Writing anonymously, he dishes out the candid and honest industry insight all actors need to hear.
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